May 10, 2017
  
New Texas Superstar introduced: Balsamic Blooms
 
By Adam Russell
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
 
Basil is a popular backyard herb, and the newest Texas Superstar - Balsamic Blooms basil - represents an exceptional edible plant with ornamental qualities that make it a great addition to any garden, according to horticultural experts.
 
Balsamic Blooms is a versatile basil from new breeding lines, said Dr. Brent Pemberton, Texas A&M AgriLife Research ornamental horticulturist in Overton. The plant has attractive green foliage and deep-purple blooms that make it a good choice for gardeners who want to incorporate edible plants to their landscapes and gardens.
 
Balsamic Blooms was named a 2017 Texas Superstar plant by AgriLife Research and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulturalists after three years of field trials around the state.
 
To be designated a Texas Superstar, a plant must not only be beautiful but also perform well for consumers and growers throughout the state. Texas Superstars must be easy to propagate, which should ensure the plants are not only widely available throughout Texas but also reasonably priced.
 
"Unlike most basils, the entire plant is edible so you can chop the blooms and sprinkle them on your salad to add some purple and provide a nice color contrast," said Dr. Cynthia McKenney, ornamental horticulturist at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, a member of the Texas Superstar Executive Board. "The foliage can be used like basil in traditional cooking."
 
For taste, Pemberton recommends gardeners harvest young flowers because bloom stems turn woody with age. Removing young flowers also encourages branching and reblooming, which promotes more leaves and flowers.
 
Leaves can also be rubbed to emit a spicy basil fragrance, Pemberton said.
 
Balsamic Blooms reach 18-24 inches in height and do best in full sun to maintain the colorful flowers, he said. Space plants 18-20 inches apart in well-drained soil. Keep the soil slightly damp while establishing the plant and then slowly add irrigation without letting it wilt.
 
Transplants are available in the spring in several pot sizes from 4-inch to 1-gallon containers, Pemberton said.
 
They are annual plants with the ability to continue to grow soft new foliage while continuing to carry the purple flowers, he said. The blooms and foliage are long-lasting.
 
Balsamic Blooms do not require pinching or other special care, though removing older flowers will keep the plant actively growing, Pemberton said. It is also pollinator friendly.
 
Texas Superstar is a registered trademark owned by AgriLife Research, a state agency that is part of the Texas A&M University System. Plants are designated Texas Superstars by the Texas Superstar Executive Board, which is made up of seven AgriLife Research and AgriLife Extension horticulturalists.
 
More information about other Texas Superstar plants and a list of wholesalers and retailers who stock them can be found at http://texassuperstar.com/ .
 
"Balsamic blooms perform very well around the state and with very little maintenance," Pemberton said. "It's a plant that is a beautiful ornamental and a great choice for culinary creations."
Add extra appeal to your landscape with garden art
 
By Melinda Myers
 
Adding excitement to your garden is easy. You can create instant, year-round color, structure, motion and fun to your landscape with a bit of garden art.
 
Just like shopping for plants, look for pieces that complement your gardening style. And consider all the benefits each piece of art provides. Many pieces are functional as well as beautiful, helping you get the most from your garden budget.
 
In centuries past, garden art included statues of gods and beautiful people as well as pieces that mimicked nature's ornamental qualities. You can still find those traditional garden statues. But these days you will also find colorful pieces made from a variety of weatherproof materials in a variety of styles.
 
Look for garden art that's functional as well as beautiful. You no longer need to settle for drab plant supports. Look for items like the Kaleidoscope Tomato Cage made of durable, heavy gauge steel and adorned with colorful weatherproof glass inserts. Train peas and pole beans up colorful and sturdy structures like Kaleidoscope Spiral Supports. These make creating an edible, ornamental landscape a breeze.
 
Bring your garden to life with garden art that moves in the wind. Metal wind spinners, mobiles and wind chimes add motion and in some cases sound to the garden.
 
Try creating a bottle bush using individually mouth-blown art glass globes instead of wine bottles. Select those suited to the outdoors. Strategically place them in the garden, so you can enjoy the way the sunlight plays off the unique, colorful glass.
 
Add a bit of color and ornamental appeal when purchasing your next birdbath or bench. And don't forget about other winged visitors. Some garden art, like poppy sways, also capture water for hummingbirds, butterflies and other beneficial insects.
 
Artfully direct water from the roof using decorative rain chains into a rain barrel or mulched area. Use this century-old technique to slow the flow of water, preventing mulch and mud from splashing onto the house. Those in cold climates will appreciate the beauty of the ice-covered chains in winter.
 
Extend your enjoyment by lighting up the landscape with solar powered artwork. Set solar stakes donned with birds, roosters or calla lilies throughout the garden. You'll enjoy their charming style by day and colorful glow at night. Lead your guests to the front door or backyard garden with the help of solar powered Mosaic glass globes.
 
Include a bit of fun and whimsy in your landscape. Let your garden design and garden art reflect your personality. A flock of funky metal chickens meandering through the garden or school of steel Fish Out of Water Garden Stakes swimming through your perennials may just be the extra character your garden needs.
 
Take some time this season to finish off an established garden, create a focal point for a new garden or just add new life to an existing landscape. Whatever the reason, you're sure to enjoy the added beauty only garden art can provide.
 
Melinda Myers has written more than 20 gardening books, including Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses "How to Grow Anything" DVD series, including the latest Food Gardening For Everyone DVD set. Myers also hosts the nationally syndicated Melinda's Garden Moment TV & radio segments. She is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. Myers' web site is www.melindamyers.com.
Making "mulch" ado of ant hills
 
Soil Science Society of America
 
Ants can be annoying little insects. In your home, they make army-like lines to any crumbs on your floor. In your home's frame, carpenter ants can do a job of eating away your walls. But what about outside? Do ants play a positive role in your yard? Your garden? What about in a farm field?
 
Research undertaken by scientists in China reveals that ants are hardworking and beneficial insects. In the activities of their daily lives, ants help increase air, water flow, and organic matter in soil. The work done by ants even forms a type of mulch that helps hold water in the soil.
 
Ants are busy insects. They dwell in the soil, and build their homes by burrowing tiny holes, channels, and chambers. Soil scientists refer to these as macropores. Where do ants place the soil they are digging out? On the soil surface. The tiny clumps we see as an ant hill are what researchers call aggregate mulches.
 
In addition to creating the aggregate mulches, ants help the soil environment by "bringing down food sources from outside," says soil scientist Tongchuan Li. "Types of food include the bodies of insects, leaves, sugar water, and the 'honeydew' of aphids. The big diameter of the nest channels (4.1-6.6mm) and the chambers also can improve the transport of air with frequent ant activities."
 
Li and researchers at Northwest A&F University, Yangling, China, found that ant-made aggregate mulches could help retain water in agricultural fields. In other words, these aggregates can act like any other mulch, preserving moisture in the soil, under certain conditions. "Minimal attention has been paid to the effects of ant activities on soil [water] evaporation thus far," says Li. "Ants represent half of the global insect biomass," and these mulches could be playing an important role in soil moisture, soil health, and agricultural field efficiency.
 
According to Li's paper, gravel has been used in China as an effective mulch to conserve water. However, in the Northern Loess Plateau region, no widespread distribution of gravel occurred. The burrowing ants were leaving stacks of soil aggregates each time they burrowed into the soil. A conservation project undertaken in 1999, Grain for Green, promoted the development of soil-dwelling animals. China planted 400-600 million trees to control severe soil erosion problems. These trees, in turn, "provided abundant food and suitable habitats" for neighboring fields, says Li.
 
Another reason why the ant population was lower before 1999 than now was human-made. "Before the Grain for Green Project, cropland was the main land use," says Li. "Plowing can severely damage ant nests. [The project called for the] abandonment of agricultural land in these areas. The result was less disturbance and a substantial increase in vegetation cover, which promoted the development of ant colonies."
 
The type of ant studied by Li and his team was one found prevalent in agricultural fields of China, Camponotus japonicus. While not the largest ant in China, "Camponotus japonicus is the largest ant in the northern Loess Plateau," according to Li. "The body length of worker ants varied from 7.4 to 13.8mm. They live in grasslands of alfalfa, abandoned cropland, forest land, and apple orchards. This kind of ant is widespread in China."
 
How do ants make these aggregate mulches? "With burrowing their nest, ants make and move the aggregates on soil surface around their nest," says Li. "As I observed, Camponotus japonicus just physically bite off and move the soil fragments with their jaws." Larger ants tend to make larger aggregates than smaller ants - and Camponotus japonicus runs on the large side. The aggregates these ants make averaged 1.6mm - or 12-22 percent of the ants' size. That's a lot of heavy lifting!
 
The research found that the percentage of soil moisture affected how well the ant aggregate mulch performed. At a near-average level of soil moisture, 12.6 percent, ant aggregate mulch works well. They found that evaporation of water from the soil surface significantly decreased with increasing aggregate mulch thickness.
 
One downside to ant-made aggregate mulches is that they disintegrate with rainfall. However, ants tend to enlarge their nests by making new chambers after a rainfall, producing more aggregate mulches after rains. So, in theory, aggregates are a "renewable" mulch source.
 
Li's research was published in Soil Science Society of America Journal. This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau.
Gardening tips

May is a good time to take cuttings of plants to root and make more for sharing. Once they have developed roots, pot them up in 4-inch pots and start feeding them with a water soluble fertilizer at the low, constant feed rate on the label. In a few weeks, you can bump them up to gallon size containers.

Have a favorite gardening tip you'd like to share? Texas Gardener's Seeds is seeking brief gardening tips from Texas gardeners to use in future issues. If we publish your tip in Seeds, we will send you a copy of Texas Gardene r's 2017 Planning Guide & Calendar. Please send your tips of 50 words or less to the editor at: Garde ning Tips.
Upcoming garden events
 
If you would like your organization's events included in "Upcoming Garden Events" or would like to make a change to a listed event, please contact us at Garden Events. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details at least three weeks prior to the event.
MAY  

Houston: "Residential Rainwater Harvesting" will be presented by Teresa See, Harris County Master Gardener, 10:00-11:30 a.m., Thursday, May 11, at Genoa Friendship Garden Education Bldg., 1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd., Houston. Free. For more information, visit https://hcmga.tamu.edu.

Houston: "Growing Roses is for Everyone!" is the topic of the Houston Rose Society meeting on Thursday, May 11, at the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, 1500 Hermann Drive, Houston. The parking lot is Lot C, located at Hermann Drive and Crawford Street. The program will be presented by Pat Shanley, president of the American Rose Society. She is an ARS Horticultural Judge, Arrangements Judge and a Master Rosarian. In 2010 she co-edited The Sustainable Rose Garden. Currently Pat is the chairman of the American Garden Rose Selections (AGRS)a national testing program for new rose varieties. Free admission. For more information, visit www.houstonrose.org.

Denton: Five private residential gardens and two public gardens will be showcased on the 2017 Denton County Master Gardener Association spring garden tour from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 13. "Passport to Nature" is the theme of this year's tour. "Journey through the City Cottage Garden" at 3005 Terry Court, Denton, which has evolved in response to Mother Nature. Since this garden's debut on the 2011 garden tour, it has grown and filled out. "Treasures on Leisure Lane" at 3852 Leisure Ln., Denton, is four acres of Certified Wildlife Habitat. "Pollinator's Paradise II" at 2005 Burning Tree Ln., Denton, is an explosion of beloved plants and colorful flower, all tried and true Texas survivors. "Texas Tropical Resort" at 1520 Hunters Ridge Circle, Denton, was created using interior design principles: size, shape, texture and movement. "Lazy Gardener's Oasis" at 1306 Ballycastle Ln., Corinth, is a compact garden with a meandering path. The tour's two public gardens are the Courthouse on the Square, 110 West Hickory Street, Denton, and the nearby Denton County Historical Park at 317 West Mulberry Street, Denton. Tour tickets are $10 each and available from Master Gardeners; at the Denton County Extension office, 401 W. Hickory St., Denton; at the Redbud Festival in Denton on April 22; at the DCMGA Plant Sale on April 29; at Denton County Calloway's locations; or online from the Denton County Master Gardener website at www.dcmga.com. Tickets also may be purchased at any of the homes on tour day. Admission to a single garden is $5 at the gate. There is no charge for children aged 12 and under. Admission to both public gardens is free. Master Gardeners will be at each location to answer questions.

Waco:
The Annual Master Gardener Plant sale will be held May 13 at the Westview Village Shopping Center, 551 N. Valley Mills Dr., Waco, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Browse a great selection of plants, including flowers, shrubs, vegetables, house plants, roses, Texas Superstars, herbs, and more. Also available: special gifts for Mother's Day, hanging baskets, color bowls, and seeds. Cash, checks and credit cards accepted. Proceeds fund many community projects. For more information, call 254-366-8246.

Houston: Open Garden Day, 8:30-11 a.m., May 15, at Genoa Friendship Garden, 1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd., Houston. Plants for sale in our greenhouse. Master Gardeners available to answer your questions. Free. For more information, visit https://hcmga.tamu.edu.

Woodway: Steven Chamblee, Horticulturist of Chandor Gardens, will present "Peace, Love, & Milagros: Life Lessons from the Road," noon-2 p.m., May 17. During his 30-plus years road-tripping around Texas, Chamblee has collected great stories about horticultural heavens, botanical blunders, and tender tales that will melt your heart. Heeding the advice of a close friend, Chamblee has brought his favorite stories together for a very personal presentation of inspiration, enlightenment, and humor. The seminar will be held at the Whitehall Center of the Carleen Bright Arboretum, 9001 Bosque Blvd., Woodway. This is not the usual location. For additional information, call the Carleen Bright Arboretum at 254-399-9204 or email jschaffer@woodwaymail.org.

Seguin: Guadalupe County Master Gardeners will meet at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, May 18, the Texas AgriLife Extension 210 E. Live Oak, for popcorn and a viewing of the movie "Seed-The Untold Story." Few things on earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds. Social at 6:15 p.m. Announcements at 6:45 p.m. Free. Open to all. For more information, visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.

Galveston County: "Galveston County Home Fruit Growers Tour," May 20. Three fruit orchards on tour, 9 a.m.-noon; visit sites in any desired order. Locations: 1) Galveston County Master Gardener (homeowner) at 5202 Highland Road, Santa Fe; 2) Galveston County Master Gardener Demonstration Orchard and Garden, 4102 Main Street, La Marque; 3) Wilson and Renee Hillman's Fruits 'n Such Orchard at 6309 Ave. U, Dickinson; ph. 832-443-6733. Further details visit www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston. Pre-registration not required. Galveston County Master Gardener event. Free.

Ft. Worth: The Greater Fort Worth Herb Society presents their 31st annual herb/garden festival 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., May 20, at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens, 3220 Botanic Gardens Blvd., Fort Worth. General admission $4.00, children under 12 free. Silent Auction, vendors, annuals & perennials, herbs, plants, handmade soap, cheese, honey, garden art, jewelry, herbal pet products and much more. Presentations: 10:30 a.m., Tonja Wells, CNH consultant, presents "Energize your life with herbs"; 1:00 p.m., Amanda Vermillion, The Tea Mistress LLC, presents "History of tea and its origins." For more information contact herbalhen@gmail.com.

Pearland : "22nd Annual Daylily Show and Sale" will be presented by the Lone Star Daylily Society, May 20, at the Epiphany Lutheran Church, 5515 W. Broadway, Pearland. Times for the show are 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., while the Daylily Sale will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission and parking are free. See all the beautiful flowers on display at the nationally sanctioned flower show and stop to get some really great deals on the daylilies being offered at super low prices, $5-$12. There will be hundreds of fans to choose from, with local experts to answer any questions. See what all the excitement is about and find out about one of the easiest plants to grow in our area. You'll be rewarded with beautiful blooms and be able to watch the plants increase and grow more beautiful by the year. For more information, visit lonestardaylilysociety.org or call Debbie Pike at 979-236-1478.

Waco: Visit the McLennan Co. Master Gardeners booth at the Downtown Farmers Market, 500 Washington Ave., Waco, on Saturday, May 20, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to learn about easy propagation practices. Two propagation specialist will be on hand to demonstrate simple propagation techniques and to answer specific gardening questions. Free seeds and handouts available on many topics.

Seguin: Gail Johnson will present "Practical Fruit Growing for the Home Gardener" noon-1 p.m., Wednesday, May 24, at the AgriLife Extension 210 E. Live Oak. Johnson will discuss keeping it simple and selecting the right varieties. Free. Everyone is welcome. For more information, visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.
JUNE

La Marque: "Peach Tree Pruning for the Home Orchard": with GC Master Gardeners Herman Auer and Robert Marshall demonstrating, 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m., June 1, in the Galveston County Master Gardener Demonstration Garden Orchard in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (Hwy 519), La Marque. Pre-registration required: Ph 281-534-3413, e-mail galvcountymgs@gmail.com; for additional details visit   www.aggiehorticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/index.html. Free.
 
La Marque: "Plumeria (The Fabulous Fragrant Frangipani)": with GC Master Gardener Loretta Osteen, 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m., June 3, at Galveston County AgriLife Extension in Carbide Park, 4102 Main Street (Hwy 519), La Marque. Pre-registration required: Ph 281-534-3413, email galvcountymgs@gmail.com; for additional details visit   www.aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/index.html. Free.

Houston: " Soil Composition + Fertilizer + Water = Beautiful Roses" is the topic of the Houston Rose Society meeting, June 8, at the Cherie Flores Garden Pavillon, 1500 Hermann Drive, Houston. The parking lot is Lot C located at Hermann Drive and Crawford Street. Dr. David Reed will present the program. Dr. Reed is a professor of horticulture in the department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University. Dr. Reed's research focuses on plant nutrition, especially iron nutrition and the effects of water quality and salinity on plants. Learn about growing beautiful roses from the soil up! Free admission. For additional information, visit www.houstonrose.org .

Athens: Henderson County Master Gardeners Association presents Summer Series I: Peace, Love and Milagros - Life Lessons from the Road (With a Side of Beauty in the Beets), a presentation by Steven Chamblee, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, June 15, at the Senior Citizens Center, 3354 Highway 31 East (next to Fairgrounds), Athens. Chamblee is chief horticulturist for Chandor Gardens in Weatherford. This event is free to the public. For more information call 903-675-6130 or email hendersonCMGA@gmail.com.
Monthly meetings
 
If you would like your organization's events included in "Monthly Meetings" or would like to make a change to a listed meeting, please contact us at Monthly Meetings. To ensure inclusion in this column, please provide complete details. 
 
FIRST WEEK
  
Kaufman: The Kaufman County Master Gardeners meet the first Monday of each month at the First Community Church at 1401 Trinity Drive in Crandall. January through April and August and September meetings are at 9 a.m., with the remaining meetings beginning at 7 p.m. For additional information visit http://www.kcmga.org, call 972-932-9069 or email to sbburden@ag.tamu.edu.

Houston: The Harris County Master Gardeners meet at noon the first Tuesday of each month at the Texas AgriLife Extension, 3033 Bear Creek Drive (near the intersection of Highway 6 and Patterson Road), Houston. For additional information visit http://hcmga.tamu.edu
or call 281-855-5600.

Dallas: Garden Masters, Inc., meet the first Wednesday of each month at North Haven Gardens, 7700 Northaven Rd., Dallas. The club hosts different speaker each month from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Bring your lunch! For more information, email Bunny Williams at bunny-williams@sbcglobal.net.
 
Kerrville: Hill Country Master Gardeners meet the first Wednesday of each month at 1:00 pm at Hill Country Youth Event Center, 3785 Hwy 27. For more information visit www.hillcountrymastergardeners.org.
 
Midland/Odessa: The Permian Basin Master Gardeners meet at noon, the first Wednesday of each month, lternating between the Midland and Ector County's Extensions Offices. For more information about location, call 432-498-4071 or 432-686-4700.

Navasota: The Navasota Garden Club meets on the first Wednesday of each month (September through May) at 10:00 a.m., usually at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center, 300 Church Street, Navasota. If not meeting at the church, a change of meeting notice will be placed on the door at the North entrance. Guests are welcome. Members are from Grimes County and surrounding counties.
   
Allen: The Allen Garden Club meets at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month, February through December, at the Allen Heritage Center, 100 E. Main St., Allen. For more information, visit www.allengardenclub.org.

Atlanta: The Cass County Master Gardeners meet the first Thursday of each month at the Atlanta Memorial Hospital Conference Room, State Highway 77 @ S. Williams St., Atlanta. A business meeting is followed by an educational program. The public is welcome to attend. For additional information, call 903-756-5391 or visit http://cass.agrilife.org
 
Hempstead: The Waller County Master Gardeners usually mee tat 9 a.m. the first Thursday of each month at the Waller County AgriLife Extension Office, 846 6th St., Hempstead. For more information on the meeting schedule, visit http://txmg.org/wallermg or call 979-826-7651.

Fort Worth: The North Central Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. except (January and July) in the Fort Worth Botanical Garden Building at  3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard, Fort Worth. For additional information, contact President Theresa Thomas at kayleetl@sbcglobal.net.
 
Gonzalas: Gonzales Master Gardeners hold their monthly meeting at noon on the first Thursday of each month at 623 Fair Street, Gonzales. Bring a bag lunch, drinks provided. Contact AgriLife Extension Office at 830-672-8531 or visit http://gonzalesmastergardeners.org for more information.

New Braunfels: The Comal Garden Club meets the first Thursday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at Southbank Clubhouse, 222 Southbank Blvd., New Braunfels.

Hempstead: The Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation, 20559 F.M. 359, Hempstead, hosts a special Peckerwood Insider's Tour at 10 a.m. on the first Saturday of each month. Spaces are limited so pre-registration is required. $15, free for members. For more information, visit http://www.peckerwoodgarden.org/explore/visit-peckerwood-garden/.
 
SECOND WEEK
 
Austin: Austin Organic Gardeners Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month (except December) at the Austin Area Garden Center, 2220 Barton Springs Road, Zilker Botanical Gardens in Austin. For more information, visit www.austinorganicgardeners.org.

Jacksonville: The Cherokee County Master Gardeners meet on the second Monday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at Woodmen of the World, 1800 College Ave., Jacksonville. For more information, e-mail Tom Abbott at tom@deerfield-abbey.org.

Glen Rose: The Glen Rose Garden Club meets at 10 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month (September through May) at the Somervell County Community Center in Glen Rose. For additional information, email stringer030@yahoo.com.

Glen Rose: The Prairie Rose Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets at 6 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at the Somerville County Citizen Center, 209 SW Barnard St., Glen Rose. For additional information, email prairierose.npsot@gmail.com
 
Harrison County: The Harrison County Master Gardeners meet on the second Tuesday of each month in the Harrison County Annex building, 102 W Houston St. (south side of the square), Marshall. Meetings are held in the 2nd floor AgriLife Extension meeting room. For more information, call 903-935-8413, or email wannagrow2@gmail.com.   
 
Marion: The Guadalupe County (Schertz/Seguin) Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the second Tuesday of each month except July, August and December at St. John's Lutheran Church in Marion. Directions to St. John's Lutheran Church: From FM 78 turn south onto FM 465 and the church is just past the Marion School on the right. From IH-10 go north on FM 465 towards Marion. The Church will be on the left, just before you get to town. A plant exchange and meet-and-greet begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by the program at 7 p.m. Visitors are welcome. For more information or an application to join NPSOT visit www.npsot.org/GuadalupeCounty/ or contact guadalupecounty@npsot.org.
 
Quitman: The Quitman Garden Club meets at 2 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at the Quitman Library on E Goode Street, Quitman. It is a diverse group that welcomes all visitors. For more information, e-mail quitmangardenclub@gmail.com.
 
Denton:  The Denton County Master Gardener Association meets from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. the
second Wednesday of each month . Meetings are open to the public. For complete details, visit  http://dcmga.com/.
 
Humble: The Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 22306 Aldine Westfield Road, Humble, hosts a Lunch Bunch the second Wednesday of each month from noon until 2 p.m. Take a sack lunch or order a box lunch from Starbucks when you call 281-443-8731 to reserve your spot. Master Gardeners and Masters Naturalists may earn CEU credits by attending.
 
Jacksboro: The Jacksboro Garden Club meets at 9:30 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month (except June, July and August) at the Concerned Citizens Center, 400 East Pine Street, Jacksboro. For more information, call Melinda at 940-567-6218.
 
Longview: The Gregg County Master Gardeners Association's Learn at Lunch program meet the second Wednesday of each month. The business meeting begins at 11:30 a.m., with the program at noon, at the AgriLife Extension Office, 405 E. Marshall Ave., Longview. The program is presented for horticultural education and is free to the public. For further information call 903-236-8429, visit www.txmg.org/gregg, or like us on Facebook at Gregg County Master Gardeners. 
 
Rockport: The Rockport Herb & Rose Study Group, founded in March 2003, meets the
second Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. at 619 N. Live Oak Street, Room 14, Rockport, to discuss all aspects of using and growing herbs, including historical uses and tips for successful propagation and cultivation. Sometimes they take field trips and have cooking demonstrations in different locations. For more information, contact Linda 361-729-6037, Ruth 361-729-8923 or Cindy 979-562-2153 or visit www.rockportherbs.or g and http://rockportherbies.blogspot.com.
 
Woodway: The McLennan County Master Gardeners meet on the second Wednesday each month at noon at the Carleen Bright Arboretum, 9001 Bosque Blvd., Woodway. Educational programs follow the business session. For more information, call 254-757-5180.
 
Beaumont: The Jefferson County Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. (social) 7:00 (meeting) the second Thursday of each month except in July in the AgriLife Extension auditorium, 1225 Pearl 2nd floor (downtown Beaumont next to the Court House). For more information contact: 409-835-8461 or txmg.org/jcmg.
 
Georgetown: The Williamson County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. 8th Street. Georgetown. For additional information, contract Kathy Henderson at kshend@verizon.net or visit http://www.npsot.org/wp/wilco.
 
Orange: The Orange County Master Gardeners Association holds their monthly meeting on the
second Thursday of each month. A short program is presented. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the new Orange County Expo Center on Hwy 1442 in Orangefield. Enter the building in the front entrance, first door on the right, Texas AgriLife offices. Pot luck supper at 6 p.m. Visit http://txmg.org/orange for more information.
 
San Antonio: The San Antonio Herb Society meets at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the San Antonio Garden Center, 3310 N. New Braunfels (corner of Funston & N. New Braunfels). For more information on programs, visit www.sanantonioherbs.org.

Smithville: The Smithville Community Gardens meets at 5:30 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the Smithville Recreation Center. 
 
Angleton: The Brazoria County Master Gardeners meet at 11 a.m. on the second Friday of each month at the Brazoria County Extension Office, 21017 County Road 171, Angleton. There is a general business meeting followed by a brief educational program each month. For further information call 979-864-1558, ext.110.
 
College Station: The A&M Garden Club meets on the second Friday of each month during the school year at 9:30 a.m. in the training room of the College Station Waste Water Facility building at the end of North Forest Parkway, College Station. Expert speakers, plant sharing, and federated club projects help members learn about gardening in the Brazos Valley, floral design, conservation, and more. For more information, visit http://www.amgardenclub.com/.
 
Houston: The Spring Branch African Violet Club meets the second Saturday of each month, January through November, at 10:30am at the Copperfield Baptist Church, 8350 Highway 6 North, Houston. Call Karla at 281-748-8417 prior to attending to confirm meeting date and time.
  
Kilgore: Northeast Texas Organic Gardeners meets at 1:30 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month. For more information, call Carole Ramke at 903-986-9475.
 
Dallas: The Rainbow Garden Club of North Texas meets the second Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Meetings are held at member's homes and garden centers around the area. For more information, visit www.RainbowGardenClub.com.
 
THIRD WEEK
 
Arlington: The Arlington Men's Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the third Monday of each month (except December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact Lance Jepson at LJepson@aol.com.
 
Cleburne: The Johnson County Master Gardener's meet on the third Monday of each month at McGregor House, 1628 W Henderson, Cleburne. Meeting times are at 2 p.m. October through April, except December and at 6 p.m. May through September. An educational program precedes the business meeting. For additional information, contact Sue Matern at 817-517-9076.
  
New Braunfels: The Comal Master Gardeners meet at 6 p.m. the third Monday of each month (except April and December,) at the  GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. An educational program precedes the business meeting. The public is invited to attend. For additional information, call 830-620-3440 or visit http://txmg.org/comal/. 

Texarkana: The Four Corners Chapter of Native Plant Society of Texas meets at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of each month at the Southwest Center, 3222 W. 7th St. (U.S. 67), Texarkana. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Belinda McCoy at 903-424-7724 or blackmtngardens@yahoo.com
 
Corpus Christi: The Nueces Master Gardeners meet at noon the third Tuesday of each month, except December, at Garden Senior Center, 5325 Greely Dr., Corpus Christi. An educational program precedes the business meeting. For further information call 361 767-5217.
 
Evant: The Evant Garden Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m., usually at the bank in downtown Evant. To confirm the date, time and place of each month's meeting, call 254-471-5860. 
 
New Braunfels: The Lindheimer Chapter (Comal County) of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets on the third Tuesday of each month at  6:30 pm at the GVTC Auditorium, 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. Meetings include an informative speaker and a Plant of the Month presentation. Meetings are free and visitors are welcome. For more information,visit www.npsot.org/w/lindheimer Note : there will be no meeting in June or December.
 
Rockport: Monthly meetings of the Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners are held at 10 a.m. on the third Tuesday of each month at Texas AgriLife Extension Service - Aransas County Office, 892 Airport Rd., Rockport. For additional information, e-mail aransas-tx@tamu.edu or call 361-790-0103.
 
Sugar Land: The Sugar Land Garden Club meets on the third Tuesday of each month, September through November and January through April at 10 a.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 702 Burney Road, Sugar Land. The club hosts a different speaker each month. For more information, visit www.sugarlandgardenclub.org.
 
Denton: The Denton Organic Society, a group devoted to sharing information and educating the public regarding organic principles, meets the third Wednesday of each month (except July, August and December) at the Denton Senior Center, 509 N. Bell Avenue. Meetings are free and open to the public. Meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are preceded by a social at 6:30. For more information, call 940-382-8551.
 
Glen Rose: The Somervell County Master Gardeners meet at 10 a.m., the third Wednesday of each month at the Somervell County AgriLife Extension office, 1405 Texas Drive, Glen Rose. Visitors are welcome. For more information, call 254-897-2809 or visit www.somervellmastergardeners.org.
 
Granbury: The Lake Granbury Master Gardeners meet at 1 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at the Hood County Annex 1, 1410 West Pearl Street, Granbury. The public is invited to attend. There is an educational program each month preceding the business meeting. For information on topics call 817-579-3280 or visit http://www.hoodcountymastergardeners.org/.
 
Seabrook: The Harris County Precinct 2 Master Gardeners hold an educational program at 10 a.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at The Meeting Room at Clear Lake Park (on the Lakeside), 5001 NASA Road 1, Seabrook. The programs are free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://hcmgap2.tamu.edu.
 
Brownwood: Brownwood Garden Club meets the third Thursday of each month, 11:30 a.m.- 1 p.m.  The club meetings are at Southside Baptist Church, 1219 Indian Creek Road, with refreshments and a speaker presentation. Visitors are welcome. For more information, email boeblingen@centex.net or call 817-454-8175.
 
Hallettsville: The Hallettsville Garden Club meets at 2 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month from September through May, at the Hallettsville Garden and Cultural Center, 605 E 2nd St, Hallettsville. Each month, the club hosts speakers that provide informative programs on a wide range of gardening subjects, and refreshments are provided by member hostesses after the business meeting. Visitors are welcome. Please email Sharon Harrigan at sharonspetals@yahoo.com for more information.

Houston:
The Native Plant Society of Texas - Houston (NPSOT-H) meets at 7:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month except for October (4th Thursday) at the Houston SArboretum and Nature Center in Memorial Park (4501 Woodway Dr.). For more information on programs, and for information about native plants for Houston, visit http:/npsot.org/wp/Houston.

San Antonio: The Bexar County Master Gardeners (BCMG) meet on the third Thursday of each month at the Texas AgriLife Extension Office, 3355 Cherry Ridge Dr., Suite 208, San Antonio. During the months of Jan., March, May, July, Sep. and Nov., an evening meeting begins with a social time at 6 p.m. followed by a free presentation from 6:30-8:30 p.m. During the intervening months (Feb., April, June, Aug., Oct., Dec.), afternoon educational seminars/general meetings are held from 1-3:30 p.m. Check http://www.bexarmg.org/ to verify meeting date for any given month, as circumstances could require a change, and to find information on the speaker and topic scheduled for each meeting.
 
Seguin: The Guadalupe County Master Gardeners meets at 6:30 p.m. the third Thursday of each month, at the AgriLife Building, 210 East Live Oak, Seguin. After a brief social hour, the meeting and guest speaker begins at 7 p.m. The meeting is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 830-303-3889 or visit www.guadalupecountymastergardeners.org.

Hempstead: The Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation, 20559 F.M. 359, Hempstead, hosts the Evening at Peckerwood Lecture series at 7 p.m. on the third Friday of each month. Tickets are available online. Tickets are $10, $5 for members.For more information, visit http://www.peckerwoodgarden.org/explore/visit-peckerwood-garden/.

FOURTH WEEK
 
Brackenridge Park: The Native Plant Society San Antonio Chapter meets every fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Lions Field Adult and Senior Center, 2809 Broadway at E. Mulberry, Brackenridge Park, except August and December. Social and seed/plant exchange at 6:30 p.m. Free and open to the public. For more information, contact Bea at 210-999-7292 or visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio.
 
Bryan: The Brazos County Master Gardeners, a program of Texas AgriLife Extension, meet the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan. There is a public gardening program at each meeting and pertinent information may be found at brazosmg.com or 979-823-0129.
 
Edna: The Jackson County Master Gardeners present their "Come Grown With Us" seminars on the fourth Tuesday of each month, January through October, beginning at 7 p.m. at 411 N. Wells, Edna. The seminars are free, open to the public and offer 2 CEU hours to Master Gardeners or others requiring them. For additional information, contact the Jackson County Extension Office at 361-782-3312.
 
Linden: The Caddo Wildflower Chapter of Native Plants Society meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at the senior citizens building at 507 S Kaufman St. in Linden at 6:30. Visitors are welcome. For additional information, contact Karen Tromza at khtromza@yahoo.com.
 
Fort Worth: The Organic Garden Club of Forth Worth meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month except July and December at the Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Blvd., Ft. Worth. Refreshments are served. For more information, call 817-263-9322 or visit www.ogcfw.webs.com.
 
San Antonio: The Native Plant Society of Texas San Antonio Chapter meets the fourth Tuesday of each month, except August and December, at the Lions Field Adult & Senior Center, 2809 Broadway, San Antonio. Social and plant/seed exchange at 6:30 p.m., program at 7:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.npsot.org/sanantonio or email npsot.sanantonio@gmail.com.
 
Houston: The Houston Native Prairie Association meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Cherie Flores Pavilion in McGovern Centennial Gardens at Hermann Park, 1500 Hermann Drive, Houston. For more information, contact hnpat@prairies.org.

Austin: The Garden Club of Austin meets at Zilker Botanical Gardens auditorium, 2220 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month. 7:00-7:30 p.m. Refreshments and Social, followed by a presentation at 7:30 p.m. Free. For additional information, visit http://thegardenclubofaustin.org/.

Leander: The Leander Garden Club meets on the fourth Thursday of each month (except July and August) at 10:30 a.m. at the community room behind the Greater Texas Federal Credit Union,1300 N. Bell, Cedar Park, unless there is special event planned. Following a program and short business meeting, we share a pot-luck luncheon. To confirm the meeting place and time, please call president Cathy Clark-Ramsey at 512-963-4698 or email info@leandergc.org.
 
Dallas: The Dallas County Master Gardeners meet the fourth Thursday of each month at 11:30 a.m. For location and program information, visit h ttp://www.dallascountymastergardeners.org/ or contact The Helpdesk, M-F, 8 to 4:30 214-904-3053.
 
Dallas: The Greater Dallas Organic Garden Club meets at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at the REI, 4515 LBJ Freeway, Dallas. For more information, call 214-824-2448 or visit www.gdogc.org.
  
Arlington: The Arlington Organic Garden Club meets from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on the last Thursday of each month (except November and December) at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center Street, Arlington. For more information, contact David at 817-483-7746.

Hempstead: The Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation, 20559 F.M. 359, Hempstead, holds an Open Day, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on the fourth Saturday of each month. Tours start at 10 a.m. and the last tour leaves at 2 p.m. Tickets available online or at the gate. $10, free for members. For more information, visit http://www.peckerwoodgarden.org/explore/visit-peckerwood-garden/.
 
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